Despite signing Hector Bellerin and Marcos Alonso in the summer, Barcelona are in pursuit of fullbacks in the market, hoping to paper over some evident cracks in their team.
One of the players they were targeting in the summer transfer window was Manchester United’s Diogo Dalot. The Portuguese has taken over the starting spot at right-back under Erik ten Hag, impressing the Old Trafford faithful.
However, Barcelona are set to receive a huge blow chasing his signature, as reported by Fabrizio Romano. United are set to trigger the option of unilaterally extending his contract until 2024, and will table a long-term deal as well.
Dalot has done an excellent job of taking over Aaron Wan Bissaka’s starting spot in the team. He has played 13 games in the league this season, and also played three games in the World Cup, registering one assist.
Barcelona currently have the services of Sergi Roberto and Hector Bellerin as right-backs, but neither player has been convincing enough to retain their spot in the starting lineup.
While the former has two goals in nine games this season, his injury record, coupled with a lack of defensive astuteness, makes him a liability for Xavi. He does, however, perfectly suit the inverted fullback role implemented by the coach.
Bellerin, on the other hand, has not been able to wholly integrate into Barça’s playing style, and plays third fiddle to Roberto and Jules Kounde.
Speaking of whom, the Frenchman has grown as a right-back while playing for Barcelona and France both, and will likely continue their until the club can buy another right-back.
With Dalot almost completely out of reach for Barcelona now, the club will have to shift their attention towards other cost-effective, but long-term solutions.